Treatment Options

Treatment Options

One of the contributing factors for wet AMD is a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A). VEGF-A causes new weak blood vessels to grow and leak, damaging central vision. Anti-VEGF therapies stop further damage to the eye and can even repair some of the damage that has occurred. Anti-VEGF therapy is injected into the eye. Multiple injections will be performed over a number of months. After that, your sight is monitored and further injections will be administered if required.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) uses a non-thermal (or cold) laser with an intravenous light-sensitive drug to seal and halt or slow the progression of abnormal retina blood vessels.5 This treatment does not produce a blind spot on the retina. The light is shone directly at the targeted tissue and the drug accumulates in these cells. It therefore reduces damage to normal surrounding tissue and allows the treatment to be given again as needed. It does not stop vision loss or improve vision in eyes already damaged by AMD.

Laser surgery is a procedure involving the application of a hot laser to seal and halt or slow the progression of abnormal blood vessels. In the 1990's laser treatment was the only therapy available for AMD. Through the use of a high-energy light that turns to heat when it hits the parts of the retina to be treated, laser photocoagulation seals the choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) and inhibits the leaky blood vessels growth, preventing further vision deterioration. A scar forms as a result of the treatment, and this scar creates a permanent blind spot in the field of vision.

Only a small percentage of people with Wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery, as it depends on the location of the leaky blood vessels. The risk of new blood vessels is developing after laser treatment is high. Repeated treatments may be necessary.